These activities are introduced to help a child learn to recognize the numbers 1-10 and zero, as well as help them learn to count accurately. In the Montessori classroom, these activities are presented first by using concrete materials (the number rods) that help a child see and feel the difference between the quantities. Then, the symbol for each number is introduced (using the sandpaper numbers). Lastly, the number and the quantity and symbol are put together so the child can see the correlation.
At-Home Activities for Practice with 1-10 and zero:
Spoken Language: Counting Commands ages 3 to 3 ½
Directions: Before introducing children to formal math materials, we play lots of spoken language games that involve math concepts. We introduce the children to the idea that a “command” as something fun we ask them to do that they must complete. Here are a few math-inspired commands for you to try with your child.
Number Cards ages 4 and up
Directions: Print and cut out the number cards. Lay the number cards across a small floor rug. Give your child a collection of one item (such as pennies, macaroni, beans, or Legos). Invite your child to place the appropriate number of that one item under each number card. For example, the child may place four Lego bricks under the number 4 card.
Number Tracing Practice ages 4 and up
Directions: Practice tracing the numbers on the printed sheet. Begin by tracing each number with two fingers as used with the sandpaper numbers. As ready, move to tracing the numbers using an orange stick and eventually a pencil.
Number Handwriting Practice ages 4 and up
Directions: Practice writing individual numbers on a chalkboard (preferably a large wall chalkboard). As ready, move to writing numbers on paper. Use the Number Handwriting Practice sheet as a guide.
How Many Do You See? ages 4 and up
Directions: Color the objects and count the number of items in each row. Write the number in the square.
Memory Game of Numbers ages 4 and up
Directions: Print and cut out the number cards. This game can be played with 1 to 11 people.
- Fold the number cards in half and place them into a bowl, basket, or box.
- Shake up the numbers so that they are mixed well.
- Have each player select a number from the bowl. The player should unfold the paper and look at the number, but not tell the other players what the number is.
- Close the number and place the number somewhere out of view of the other players.
- Each player should go and collect a set of objects based upon the number they remember being on their card. For example: if the player has the number 4, he or she could collect 4 spoons or 4 tissues or 4 pennies. If the player has the number 0, he or she may pretend to bring something.
- When all players have returned, it is time to reveal the numbers. Each player will take turns sharing what number they remember having and counting the items collected. The number of items should match the number the player remembers selecting at the beginning of the game. The group can use the number card to verify the correct number was collected. (If the amount collected does not match the card, the player can try again).
- If a person has the number zero, celebrate the fact that zero means nothing is brought!
- When all players have finished, return the collected objects to their appropriate places.
- Put all of the cards back into the bowl or basket and play again!